St. Vincent de Paul Village - Paul Mirabile Center
St. Vincent de Paul Village – Paul Mirabile Center. Courtesy photo

A program aiding the 25 homeless men and women who use the most public services received $500,000 in grants to continue its operations, St. Vincent de Paul Village announced Wednesday.

Project 25 won a $400,000 award from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to go along with $100,000 from the United Way of San Diego County.

St. Vincent de Paul estimates the program has saved government agencies and other service providers $4.5 million since it started as a pilot program in 2011.

“Project 25 has demonstrated tremendous success over the past three and a half years,” said Ruth Bruland, executive director for St. Vincent’s, which oversees Project 25. “We are thrilled to continue this critical work that saves both lives and money. It just makes sense.”

The people in the program receive intensive case management, substance abuse services, life skills coaching, landlord mediation, transportation assistance, socialization activities, enrollment assistance for public benefits and health insurance, and employment skills training.

They also receive health, psychiatric and dental care, and help managing their medication.

Organizers of the program, which also include the United Way, and city and county of San Diego, said the grants could allow them to almost double the number of people they help.

—City News Service